We’ve all been there. We like the way one person holds Muay Thai or Boxing pads over the other. Or, we like working with someone who has an orthodox boxing stance rather than a southpaw boxing stance. In Martial Arts training, this happens often. We tend to gravitate towards partners and trainers we feel comfortable with, but it is important to constantly be switching up your training partners in order to maximize your growth and potential in Martial Arts/MMA. Switching your training partners is just as important as working on a new technique or combination. Here’s a few key reasons why:
You’ll Learn New Things
This is a key component to switching up your training partners often. Your training partner might be able to teach or show you something that someone else might not be able to. This can depend on many factors. Height, weight, experience level and stance, are all variables that would force you to adjust and learn something new. Additionally, you might be able to teach someone else something new as well. Working pads, combinations and even sparring with a variety of people will ultimately give you more versatility and knowledge. This progress is crucial to your Muay Thai training.
You’ll get pushed beyond your comfort zone
When sticking with the same partner, you get used to a certain routine even if the class or technique being taught is completely different from the last. You and your partner will have a relationship that is comfortable and it will become difficult to deviate from that. A new partner will push you out of your comfort zone by the sheer nature of doing something different. This change in your routine might be uncomfortable at first, but this is always where the crucial learning happens.
You’ll get critiqued from a new perspective
Partnering with someone always comes with a set of constructive criticisms. Over time with the same partner, you will learn and become comfortable with how they defend themselves, how they spar, or how they hold pads. A new training partner, will allow for an entirely new set of constructive criticisms. For example, when partnering with someone with a different height than your usual training partner, you might be critiqued on throwing weapons at different levels that you’re used to. Constructive criticism is so important for growth when training in a martial art.
You’ll experience a different style of padwork/sparring
This is probably one of the most important aspects of switching up your martial arts training partners often. Every Muay Thai Kickboxing and/or Boxing practitioner holds pads different. No two people spar the same. Frequently switching up your Martial Arts training partners with different style of pad-holding and/or sparring will force you to adapt and use different weapons and combinations that you might not typically go to. With padwork specifically, you will become more versatile and be able to work with any style of pad-holder. In this process, you will become a better pad holder yourself, because you might experience something you didn’t like which will force you to make these adjustments when you’re holding pads for someone.
Ultimately, It’s so important when training in any martial art to constantly be progressing. Switching your training partners often is a great and easy way to allow for that change and progress to happen.